Microchip shortage the main culprit
Colin Parada, the Whitecap GMC owner says he has people asking him if Whitecap is going out of business. The reason? So few vehicles on display in the Whitecap lot lately. The same thing can be seen up the street at Lakeview Ford. Down at Slave Lake Chrysler, the lot is a bit fuller.
But what’s going on, Parada tells us, is supply issues. Demand is actually up a bit. But due to a number of factors, the factories aren’t able to keep up.
“It’s a perfect storm,” Parada says.
The latest culprit is a shortage of semi-conductors. COVID shutdowns have factored in as well.
“Typically, we have 80 to 100 vehicles on the lot,” Parada says. “Today, we have six!”
Six to eight months is the wait time for some GMC vehicles at the moment.
“It’s tough!” Parada says.
At Lakeview Ford, GM Chad Babiy tells much the same story, but with a few more details. How long you might end up waiting for your new vehicle may depend on which one you order, and what options you are willing to live with, or without. If you insist on having an auto start/stop feature, for example, you might be out of luck. Same goes for a sun roof. They require microchips, and those chips are being reserved for more essential functions.
Wait times have generally improved of late, Babiy says. On average, it’s “90 to 120 days.” Again, depending on what you’re after.
Slave Lake Chrysler sales manager Rob Barrie says things are better at his shop. The lot is fuller, at least. True, some new vehicles are hard to get right now, but there are lots of pickups in stock.
“Can’t complain,” Barrie says.
Used vehicles, on the other hand, are a “different kettle of fish.” Demand is high, “prices are insane,” and the exchange rate makes it worse. Many used units are being shipped south of the border, because the sellers can make more on them thanks to the higher U.S. dollar. Hence Parada’s ‘perfect storm’ analogy.
Might things improve in 2022?
“I very much hope so,” Parada says.